Application FAQs

1. How do I apply for a Postgraduate research course at RCSI?

First, you will need to decide on a topic or area of research that you are interested in, then find and contact a supervisor in the same field.

You will then need to draw up a proposal (with approval from the supervisor) and submit it via the ‘register’ section on your chosen course.

Alternatively, you can apply to projects that have already been developed and are advertised online, here.

2. What are the entry requirements?

The entry requirements are different for each of the four programmes on offer. 

  • Please see here for PhD entry requirements 
  • Please see here for MD entry requirements 
  • Please see here for MCh entry requirements 
  • Please see here for MSc entry requirements 

3. I did my degree overseas, can I still apply?

Yes, you can check if your qualification meets our minimum requirements through NARIC/QQI online. If your transcripts are not in English, you will also need to provide a certified translation of your certificate and transcript.

4. I submitted my application online and I haven’t heard anything. What should I do?

Once you have completed the registration process, your application will initially be reviewed and if there is an issue you will be contacted. If all details are correctly submitted your documents and transcripts will be reviewed, along with your project proposal, by the RCSI Academic Review Committee.

Applications are sent for review by the committee on the first Wednesday of each month, and we aim to reply to all applicants within four weeks.

If you haven’t heard anything from us after two months, please contact the School of Postgraduate Studies.

5. I am a non-native English speaker, what level of English do I need to have?

Non-native English speakers are expected to have at least 6.5 in IELTS (academic) or equivalent. Full details on English language requirements and competency tests are available here.

6. I recently completed an undergraduate degree and now want to study to become a doctor. How do I apply?

To become a medical doctor you will need to apply to the medical programme – you can do this through Graduate Entry Medicine (GEM) if you already have an undergraduate degree.

Please see here for details on how to apply for GEM at RCSI

7. Is there a template for my project proposal?

Yes. Simply download and complete the project proposal form (for Windows users), (for Mac users). 

8. The project proposal asks for ‘reviewers’ for my end-of-year report; do I need to complete this now?

Yes, this needs to be completed but these reviews can be changed at a later stage. Please remember, it must adhere to the four-page restriction.

9. Where can I find information about PhD projects available at RCSI?

All available projects are listed here.

1. Must I pay tax on my PhD or Masters stipend?

Most PhD, MD, MCh and MSc scholars are tax exempt because they complete a Revenue scholarship declaration form.

This tax exemption is predicated on scholars not 'working' for their stipend. However, while the Irish Revenue office accepts that teacher-training (e.g. demonstrating for undergraduate labs) is important for researchers, it specifies that such teaching should not occupy more than six hours per week during active term time (i.e. 144 hours per year).

2. Do fees include the costs associated with undertaking research?

No, research costs, known as consumables, are not included in scholar's fees and need to be considered separately.

1. What is the RCSI policy for recognition of prior learning?

Occasionally, applicants may not be considered eligible for a course because they do not have the recommended qualifications. However, they may have significant laboratory experience which enables them to be capable of completing their studies. In these cases, recognition of prior learning (RPL) applies.

To be considered, an applicant will need to complete a RPL form (type 1) and submit it to the School of Postgraduate Studies. This is then reviewed by the RPL committee, who will make a decision regarding the applicant’s eligibility for the course in question. Full details on RPL are available here.

2. I would like to be exempt from a module/course that I have already completed elsewhere. Is this possible?

To be considered for exemption, you will need to complete a RPL form (type 2) and submit it to the School of Postgraduate Studies. This is then reviewed by the RPL committee, who will make a decision regarding the your eligibility for module exemption.  Full details on RPL are available here

1. How many supervisors do I need?

All Postgraduate research scholars require a minimum of two supervisors.

2. Do both my supervisors have to be from RCSI?

No. One supervisor needs to be a permanent RCSI academic staff but the other can be non-RCSI staff, temporary or honorary staff.

3. What is the expected time commitment of a research degree?

You are expected to work a 40-hour working week while undertaking a full-time research degree. MD scholars may complete their research with an 80% time commitment to facilitate clinical work.

4. Am I expected to teach RCSI Undergraduate classes while doing my PhD?

No. But it may be of benefit to you to receive some teaching experience during  your studies.

Some PhD scholars are asked to supervise RCSI Undergraduate research projects in the laboratories; some scholars are asked to demonstrate Undergraduate practical classes. You are however limited in the amount of time you can devote to these activities. Most PhD scholars are tax exempt because they complete a tax exemption form. Please see the 'fees, funding and tax' section for more details. 

5. Can I undertake my research from a non-RCSI location?

Yes this is possible on agreement with your supervisory team.

6. Do I have to attend any classes, workshops or modules during my research course?

Yes. Four core modules – as part of the Professional Certificate in Research Practice – are compulsory for all PhD scholars (and highly recommended for all other Postgraduate scholars), namely Research Ethics and Integrity, Postgraduate Essentials, Critical Analysis, Writing and Communication Skills, and Biostatistics for Research Postgraduates.

1. What is the process for clinical educators who wish to apply for an MD/PhD?

If you are a clinical educator you will need to apply in the same way as all other applicants. Please ensure you state that you are an RCSI clinical educator in the funding section of your application. Your application will then be passed onto the Fees Office once your application is approved, who will in turn confirm your funding with the RCSI HR Department. 

2. What percentage of fees will be covered by RCSI for clinical educators enrolled in MD/PhD?

80% is covered. The remaining 20% can be paid through monthly salary deductions if desired.

3. Are clinical educators, completing a Postgraduate programme at RCSI, given protected time to study or conduct research as part of their role?

There will be peaks and troughs in teaching and examining time which will allow you to conduct research. You will need to work with your supervisor to look at how best to accommodate your clinical, teaching and research commitments within the academic year, to ensure that sufficient time is allowed to complete your research.